Twinfix is a family run business which, for more than 30 years, has supplied modular polycarbonate panels for use as rooflights in many railway stations and depots. Last year, the company assisted with the refurbishment of two of the UK’s historic stations, Gerrards Cross and Headstone Lane, providing glazing options to flood the stations with daylight while eliminating the common issues that occur with historic railway roof-glazing.
Built in 1906 as part of the Great Western and Great Central Joint Railway, Gerrards Cross Station is a fantastic example of one of the nation’s historic stations. As part of a £2.4 million Railway Upgrade Plan investment by Network Rail, it has recently undergone a series of upgrades to improve the station for passengers.
The work has included the full replacement of the platform’s canopy – ensuring passengers are protected from the weather; installation of lighting throughout – making the station safer and more secure; re-roofing of the main station’s roof; window repairs where necessary; fresh coats of paint to steelwork; and refurbishment of the canopy roof.
Travel 11 miles east of Gerrards Cross and you arrive at Headstone Lane station, another of the UK’s historic stations. Headstone Lane opened in February 1913 and consists of a small single storey, brick-built station with two platforms, adjacent to the Headstone Lane road bridge. This station was also part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, with investment in the refurbishment of both platform canopies.
A team comprising of Network Rail, Principal Contractor J. Murphy & Sons Limited, and specialist design consultant Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd was assigned to the job to ensure that the correct roof glazing was specified and installed over the platforms.
The product chosen for both stations was the Twinfix modular non-fragile Multi-Link-Panel NF (Non-Fragile) system, glazed with 6mm clear solid polycarbonate. Approximately 225 square metres of these panels were required to re-glaze the five canopies across both stations, with panels delivered to site ready for quick installation.
Each panel of the Multi-Link-Panel NF system comprises a powder-coated aluminium frame, fitted with polycarbonate glazing. The panels are built completely off-site in a quality-controlled factory environment, reducing the risk, and cost, of site mistakes, and are delivered on-site fully glazed and ready for rapid installation. The system has a unique linking design feature that results in incredibly quick installation times, making the system very much suited to rail work due to its restricted possession times.
The system has been well utilised for many years on station canopy roofs, and it has been thoroughly tried and tested in that time. It was the chosen system for this project for a number of reasons:
Sustainability. These panels are virtually unbreakable in manufacture, transit and in situ, meaning that, unlike glass, maintenance costs will be eliminated.
Safety. The panels conform to the HSE recommended test method ACR[M]001:2019 (as outlined in document HSG33) and achieved a ‘B’ Classification.
Off-site construction. The panels are pre-assembled in Twinfix’s factory ensuring strict quality guidelines are adhered to, which is not always guaranteed when roofing products are assembled on site.
Ease of access. The panels can be fitted with In-Line Access Hatches, to allow cleaning of gutters and roof. These hatches are hardly visible and allow safe access through the glazing without needing to get on the roof.
Weight. The system is light in weight and, due to its modular format, is very quick to install which allows for short rail possession works.
Appearance. The clear polycarbonate panels have the appearance of glass and provide just the right level of diffused light transmission onto the platforms below.
This project demanded a collaborative approach, requiring Twinfix to liaise closely with Principal Contractor J. Murphy & Sons Limited, installation company Orchard Roofing & Building, and design consultancy Arcadis, where early engagement with the team ensured that all aspects of the project ran smoothly from the onset.
Richard Nash, Contracts Manager at J. Murphy & Sons Limited commented: “Throughout the design and implementation stages of our refurbishment works at Gerrards Cross and Headstone Lane Railway Stations, Twinfix have been a pleasure to work with. Working alongside both our designers and approved installers, they have provided a professional end to end service resulting in a quality finished product.”
Piotr Stencel, Senior Project Manager at Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd said: “All the Twinfix team we have been in contact with have been very helpful to provide information, contact and help resolve issues. We were also invited to their offices in Warrington back in 2019 where we could see and touch Twinfix products and discuss design and constructability aspects, which is always better than just seeing on the product data sheet.”
The Twinfix team is proud to be part of the journey which will see the UK rail network revolutionised and sees exciting times ahead.
For further information, contact our enquiries team on 01925 811311 | www.twinfix.co.uk | [email protected]
Image credit: Twinfix